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"Devaux - French Brigade Commander in 32nd Division 1812/1813" Topic

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JohnBSnead Supporting Member of TMP10 Jul 2018 6:30 p.m. PST

Trying to find out more information about this individual for my upcoming scenarios around Gross Beeren and Dennewitz. Searched high and low on the web and The Napoleon Series.

Found one reference to "Marie Jean-Baptiste Urbain Devaux", but he was in Spain in early 1813, so that doesn't work.

Found "Pierre Devaux", but can't find any mention of him with the VII Corps.

Any assistance would be appreciated! Thanks

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP10 Jul 2018 7:54 p.m. PST

I wouldn't "write-off" your Devaux yet. Remember Gross Beeren and Dennewitz were in the fall after the armistice. So it would be possible for him to be transferred to Germany during the armistice.


Mike Petro10 Jul 2018 9:05 p.m. PST

Pierre Devaux was at Lutzen, Bautzen and Hanua so it must be Pierre.
He entered the service as a dragon at Monsieur's Dragons' Regiment on November 26, 1782, he became a brigadier in 1785 and a sergeant in 1789. He left the service on November 22, 1789. On October 27, 1791, he was appointed captain of the Grenadiers at the 1st Indre Volunteer Battalion, then in 1792 he was sent to the 4th Free French Battalion, light troops, trained at Valenciennes. He was appointed adjutant-general and provisional brigade chief on 30 September 1793, but he did not obtain confirmation of his rank until 26 Ventose year VI (15 January 1798) with retroactive effect to 25 Prairial year III (13 June 1795). Until then, he made the campaigns of Belgiquesou Dumouriez, Sambre-et-Meuse under Jourdan, Vendée, Italy and Egypt. Wounded in the forest of Mormal with a shot in the left thigh, with a spear during the first campaign of Dumouriez, a shot at Jemmapes on November 6, 1792, two shots at the taken from the famous Charleroi Redoubt, he received six wounds in Saint-Jean-d'Acre when he assaulted the grenadiers of 5 demi-brigades and riflemen of the 2nd light demi-brigade. In Brittany, he only participated in Nort's fight, in Italy he found himself at the Veronese deblocus and the pursuit of insurgents in the Salia valley. Returned to Brescia, the inhabitants give him a saber with this inscription engraved on the blade Il popolo bresciano recognescente, to adjutant-general Devaux. In Egypt, it is noted in the fighting near Cairo, the battle of Aboukir where he is wounded, and the 10 Brumaire year VIII (November 1, 1799), the battle of the grove of Lesbeh, near the mouth of the Nil, he himself takes five flags from the Ottomans, and for this feat of arms, he receives a sword of honor from Kleber. He was promoted to Brigadier General of Infantry on 17 Ventose Year IX (8 March 1801), and the First Consul awarded him a certificate of honor on 19 Ventose (10 March 1801). Returned to France, he receives the order to leave with 3,000 men for Egypt, but this trip does not take place. After a stay of six months in Cadiz, he embarked end Nivôse year X (January 1802) for Santo Domingo, seriously wounded at the Battle of Crete-Pierroten March 1802, he returned to France at the beginning of the year XI (September 1802), and he took the command of the department of Mayenne. The 19th Frimaire year XII (December 11th, 1803), he is made member of the Legion of honor, and commander of the same order the 25 meadow year XII (June 14th, 1804) then elector of the department of Cher. In 1806, he participated in the Prussian campaign, and he was created Knight of the Order of the Iron Crown on November 23, 1807, then he went to Spain. He distinguishes himself in the battles of Alta-Fouilla and Anselta, he arrives by skilful maneuvers, to operate the supplies of Balaguer and Tarragona, he contributes to the capture of Montserrat, and he is called to the Grande Armée en 1813. He fought at Lützen on May 2, 1813, at Bautzen on May 20 and 21, and at Hanau on October 30 and 31 of the same year, with his usual courage. He was knighted at the meeting on June 12, 1813, and was created Baron of the Empire on October 9, 1813. On August 20, 1814, King Louis XVIII made him Knight of St. Louis, although he had given him no proof of devotion. He was arrested in Dijon in October 1815, and was put on trial on vague denunciations of his conduct during the hundred days. He is acquitted unanimously and admitted to retirement by order of December 4, 1815. He died on July 13, 1819 in Paris.

Mike Petro10 Jul 2018 9:16 p.m. PST

Sorry for the jumbled read. Google translate and trying to paste from my phone on here is tough.

It appears as he was highly respected by all and heavily wounded over the years.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2018 9:04 a.m. PST

Milkshake has found your Devaux. Here's the link to the French Wiki article: link

According to Scott Bowden's Napoleon's Grand Armee of 1813, Devaux commanded the 1st Brigade of the 32nd Division before the armistice and was still in command of that brigade after the armistice.

Just by the by, the 32nd Division is one of my French divisions in my 25mm 1813 French army with Devaux as the 1st Brigade commander.


JohnBSnead Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2018 6:41 p.m. PST

Thanks, all. I have seen those wiki articles. I am just not convinced it is the correct guy. No mention of Gross Beeren or Dennewitz and Digby Smith doesn't mention the VIIth Corps at Lutzen. Without more proof, yes or no, I will go with it.

Jim – I am running a series of scenarios following the Saxons through 1812 and 1813. Have portrayed the 32nd Division quite a bit lately. Gross Beeren at Historicon this weekend.

Martyn K12 Jul 2018 5:20 a.m. PST

John, I will be at Historicon on Friday and your Gross Beeren game is top of my list to visit as I also collect 28mm Saxons.

On your question, I have looked at a number of references but only one lists more than the last name Devaux. This reference is Dr Summerfield's Saxon artillery book.

On Page 130 there is the Order of Battle for the 15th August which also states that it is the same from Gross Beeren. This states that the 32eme Division of Durette has the following:
1eme Brigade: GdB Devaux
2eme Brigade: GdB Jarry
3eme Brigade: GdB Devaux
+ Artillery and Train

It is unlikely that GdB Devaux commanded two brigades so this suggests to me that there may have been two GdB called Devaux – what are the chances!!!

On page 136 it lists the 7eme Corps organization for Leipzig.
At this time there were two brigades plus artillery in the 32eme Division:
1eme Brigade Marie-Jean-Baptiste-Urbain Devaux
2eme Brigade Antoine-Anotole-Gedeion Jarry

This organization shows that MJBU Devaux was not in Spain by the time of Leipzig.

I am coming down on the side of there being two GdB Devaux at Gross Beeren, but this information is only based on the one book I have. I realize that this may not be an original source and I don't want to offend purists, I just want to share the information that I have on my book shelf and add to the debate. I am hoping someone has more information.

Looking forward to your game at Historicon

Snapper6912 Jul 2018 5:41 a.m. PST

For what it is worth, my notes show the commander of 32e Division's 3rd Brigade at Gross-Beeren to be Oberst Lindenau of the Würzburg regiment.

Martyn K12 Jul 2018 5:45 a.m. PST

I believe Oberst Von Lindenau was in charge of the Saxon cavalry at Gross Beeren – hopefully there aren't two of him as well!!!!

Martyn K12 Jul 2018 6:08 a.m. PST

I have just found the order of battle for the 15th August 1813 in the book Poles and Saxons of the Napoleonic Wars – Nazinger, Wesolowski, Devoe.

It lists the GdB of the 3eme Brigade of the 32eme Division as GdB Menu

The mystery deepens.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2018 6:55 a.m. PST

Following on from my previous post, the two references in Bowden's Napoleon's Grande Armee of 1813 are dated 25 April and 15 August 1813.

In the 25 April "Situation of the Grande Armee" the three brigade commanders of 32nd Division (VII Corps) are 1st – Gen de Bde Devaux [I/35 Leger & IV/36 Leger], 2nd – Gen de Bde Jarry [IV/131 Line], and 3rd – Gen de Bde Brayer [IV/132 & IV/133 Line].

In the 15 August "Situation of the Grande Armee" the three brigades commanders are 1st – Gen de Bde Devaux [I & IV/35 Light & III & IV/132 Line], 2nd – Gen de Bde Jarry [I & IV/36 Light & III & IV/131 Line], and 3rd – Col de Lindenau [III & IV/133 Line & II & III/Wurzburg Rgt].

But also in the 15 August situation, Bowden lists the VII Corps Cavalry Brigade's commander as Col de Lindenau.

Curioser and curioser.


Snapper6912 Jul 2018 7:07 a.m. PST

The situation in 32e Div was fluid, to say the least. Battalions were detached hither and thither. For Gross-Beeren I have I/132 Line added to 1st Brigade and I/131 to 2nd, with 3rd Brigade as above. Lindenau is not an uncommon name in Germany, so it is quite possible that both brigade commanders were called the same. Should have gone for postnominal numerals, like the Russians did ;-)

JohnBSnead Supporting Member of TMP15 Jul 2018 3:39 p.m. PST

All: Just getting back from Historicon and checking in. Thanks for all of the posts (Great to meet you Martyn. Hope you enjoyed the game). Interesting research finds! My games went well, though the alternate "no rain" scenario was more fun to play, IMO. Now it is on to Dennewitz, for Fall In!.

Look for more questions – John

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